Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury
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Najee Rodriguez

Liberal Arts Major(s): History, International Politics
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Experience Time: Summer 2021

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I had the remarkable experience of serving in the Department of Treasury this summer. In the OCC, I was assigned to Large Bank Supervision, specifically for Fifth Third. I was able to assist national bank examiners to: issue banking rules and regulations, impose corrective measures following a lack of compliance with laws and regulations, and to ultimately protect consumers by making sure banks give fair access and equal treatment to customers and comply with consumer banking laws. Furthermore, in Large Bank Supervision, I was able to develop a close understanding of the banks' risk taking and risk management, identify the most significant risks, and determine the adequacy of bank systems and controls to measure, monitor, and manage these risk through the mentorship of a variety of OCC employees.

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience allowed me to utilize my skills derived from my Liberal Arts background in more ways than I could imagine. In Dean Lang's speech to my class freshmen year, he iterated the value of a Liberal Arts degree as "all-encompassing." I felt that working at the Department of Treasury this summer, which is typically inundated with business majors. From my classes within the College of the Liberal Arts, I utilized analytical and critical-thinking skills to complete assignments that involved some degree of business knowledge as well as general reports that I would have to write for the team. I have become a more versatile learner and worker as a result.

"I can say with absolute certainty that I want to work within the federal government at some capacity after graduation, to truly better the lives of others."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

This experience has reaffirmed my commitment to serving the United States via public service. It is rewarding work that directly benefits the lives of Americans, and it's a sphere that I want nothing more than to be a part of. I can say with absolute certainty that I want to work within the federal government at some capacity after graduation, to truly better the lives of others.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of the Liberal Arts provided me with a network of career mentors that helped me strengthen my resume for the federal sphere as well as enrichment funding to be able to support myself this summer. I could not have pursued this opportunity without the College's support.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

Paterno Fellows has prepared me for the rigor of government work through pushing me to the utmost of academic achievement, and through honors courses and seminars. Paterno Fellows gave me the funding that I needed to continue with this opportunity.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 
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